Project Name

City Fabric


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The City Fabric research group IBM Research - Ireland focuses on two primary areas, information management of City data and the citizen centric side of smarter cities.

Unlocking City Data

How do you manage the information of a City? The increased availability of data provides unprecedented access to information relevant to the City. City data is large, dynamic, inconsistent and heterogenous. How can we manage, integrate and make sense of this information, specially in a large-scale environment? How can we support informed decision-making by automatically discovering the relevant data sources to answer user queries? How can data privacy and information governance be implemented in such a setting? Managing and understanding information at this scale involves a large number of machines and users. How do we distribute the information management effort and extract relevant knowledge for capturing the pulse of a City? The City Fabric group explores novel techniques and tools for harnessing urban data as city knowledge through a combination of analytics, semantic technologies, automated reasoning and sensitive information protection. We aim at creating systems that scale, in terms of data size, expressivity of its representation and number of users.

Social Cities

How can we understand citizens, their behaviours and their interactions with the City? How can we use these insights to improve City Operations and Planning? Can we adapt Citizen behaviour to achieve positive outcomes? Can we achieve these goals while ensuring that no sensitive information is disclosed? Our interaction with Cities is increasingly digital, these 'Citizen Signals' - including social media, human-system interactions and pervasive device traces - create a unique opportunity to close the loop between citizens and the City. Challenges include; how to present insight with impact? how to interact and maintain engagement in pursuit of outcomes? and how to effectively address privacy concerns while maintaining the benefits? The vision of Social Cities is to develop novel analytical methods to gain deeper insights into people's needs and to explore how pervasive technologies can foster the relationship between citizens and cities. To achieve that objective, we draw from a wide arrays of domains such as social media analytics, data privacy, human computer interaction, data mining, interactive crowd-sourcing, recommender systems and pervasive technology.